I’ve been studying at U of T for almost 12 consecutive months now (feels like 12 years)! With my three summer courses coming to an end, I thought I’d reflect on my decision to stay on campus over the summer. I had three goals this summer:
- To live off residence.
- To simulate second year at a lower intensity – balancing school, work, volunteering and athletics.
- To experience Toronto in the Summer.
Moving Off Rez
From final exams to finding a place to live, April was a stressful month. Note to self: Invest in a moving truck (S/O to my friends who were crazy enough to help me move on foot!)
Living on residence in first year helped me acclimatize to university life, make new friends and experience everything that my college has to offer. Now, I’m gaining a new skill-set by living off rez. I’ve gotten used to buying groceries and cooking for one (no more meal plan) and have had to initiate communications between housemates and my landlord (no more floor meetings).
When I was deciding to stay for the summer, my parents were understanding and made a trip out to visit me instead! It was exciting for my dad especially, who had never seen U of T before. Since I usually eat-in when alone, we splurged a little and found some good eateries in Toronto that I’d definitely go back to with friends during the school year.
Toronto is hot in the summer. SUPER HOT; but the libraries? FREEZING! I camped out in a few to mentally separate libraries for studying and home for anything but studying over the summer (also did it for the free air-conditioning). If I take summer courses again, I would either take summer-long courses or half-summer courses – not both. I did the latter and all my finals are this week.. (As you’re reading this, I’m probably writing my calculus exam). I found the half year courses that are summer-long are more manageable in comparison to half year courses that are accelerated.
Summer in Toronto
Most of my (international) friends left for their respective countries to go home (#sadreactsonly). I’ve made a couple new friends through my summer classes, volunteer experiences and bonded with my rowing teammates over summer training. There were still free concerts at the Faculty of Music and that the astronomy society still held telescope parties over the summer. I also got to see high park’s and Robart’s cherry blossoms, visited the Allan Gardens, the Cloud Gardens, Toronto Island and Scarborough’s Bluffs in addition to a few famous buildings during DoorsOpenTO. Overall, I did have quite an adventurous summer between classes!
Would I do it again? I’ve always thought of learning as much as I could and taking as many courses that interest me as I can in my time here at U of T, just like how Rachel explained in her summer school experience. However, I think I’ll use my next few summers as a U of T student to get research, exchange, travel and internship experience.
How was your summer? Let us know in the comments!